Russian Satellites Stalking US Satellite - Space Force Chief

FILE Gen. John

According to media reports in recent weeks, a Russian inspection satellite Cosmos 2542 has recently synchronized its orbit with U.S. 245, a satellite operated by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

"We view this behavior as unusual and disturbing", Raymond told the publication in an interview published Monday.

Raymond said that the USA government has reached out to Moscow about the close range of the satellites, expressing concern "through diplomatic channels".

In November, Russia launched "a satellite that subsequently released a second satellite", and the pair have been behaving similarly to a set that Russia previously labelled "inspector satellites", Raymond said. The NRO is an agency within the Department of Defense and one of the five major US intelligence agencies. This is unusual and disturbing behavior and has the potential to create a unsafe situation in space. "These activities do not reflect the behavior of the nations responsible for space".

On January 14, 2020, General John "Jay" Raymond was officially sworn in as head of the Space Force, the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Russian Defence Ministry after releasing the second satellite back in December said that the objective of the experiment is to continue work on assessing the technical condition of domestic satellites.

Russian satellites, launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome last November, were maneuvering very close to the US satellite in what Space Command chief General John Raymond has called "unusual and disturbing behavior".

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According to Time magazine, the event marks the "first time the US military has publicly identified a direct threat to a specific American satellite by an adversary". There is no direct sign that the Russian inspectors are planning an attack, however. They both began to maneuver, which came close to the US satellite reconnaissance USA-245 (KN-11).

"The satellites exhibited characteristics of a weapon system when one of those satellites launched a high-speed projectile into space".

Amateur satellite tracker Michael Thompson speculated on the peculiar movements of Cosmos 2542 and Cosmos 2543 on Twitter, using publicly available data.

"This is all circumstantial evidence, but there are a hell of a lot of circumstances that make it look like a known Russian inspection satellite is now inspecting a known US spy satellite".

He suggested that Cosmos 2542 may be getting close to U.S. 245 to take intelligence photos of the satellite or that it could be getting into a position to debilitate it.

This could potentially usher in a new era of "space war", where weaponized satellites in orbit attempt to gain ground on satellites from other nations.

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